Arts and cultural activities

Cultivating the human behaviour of celebration …


Who is behind this?

Ingo Steffgen

OccOri - a confluence of Occident and Orient


Who is joining forces?

University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna


GISMA Business School


Beethovenplus e.V.


Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

We want to promote a culture of peace through the arts! We propose forming a culturally diverse and decentralized orchestra drawn from several refugee institutions and the societies of Germany as well as Austria at large. The project shall nurture common values between refugee’ and European countries; by creating a fusion of classical music with the sounds, rhythms, and instruments typical to all participating countries.

Where will your idea take place?

Germany and Austria

Why does Europe need your idea?

Social cohesion and communal pride is based on a common identity. However, a group’s values are not solely based on heritage; they are formed over time in a complex web of and through the emergence of subcultures. The current refugee influx has put Europe in the spotlight to showcase how to harmonize the sometimes contradicting values of those groups. Performing arts can serve as a platform to promote a unity, which is based on one concept: we are all human beings.

What is your impact?

We believe celebrating diversity is a pathway to a peaceful together. We want to build the understanding that cultural variety is a major building block of a strong and thriving society. The arts are a pivotal part to cultivate such human behaviour, where differences are overcome and conflict is constructive only. With such we are battling the negative impacts of the so called ‘identity politics’; the definition of one’s individuality by attaching socially derived variables (e.g., skin colour).

How do you get there?

The project starts by building capacity: reaching out to various refugee institutions and interested European musicians, screening the pool of potential participants, and evaluating the project’s feasibility. We plan to have chosen up to 30 people within the first four months. Following, we will begin blogging stories on social media – from a refugee’ and welcomers’ perspective.
Half way through the first year, we will start equipping practice rooms in refugee or other accessible facilities (e.g., schools) with instruments, video cameras, and high end microphones. The latter shall allow for online mentorship and virtual co-development that enables us to start composing the first elements of the ‘to be’ established symphony for a planned Christmas and Spring musical.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

The main beneficiaries are the refugees themselves, but also the German and Austrian society at large. Though the model can and should be replicated throughout Europe, but also rolled out directly in the countries where migrants are originating from. Each and every one can partake in the initiative as mentee, mentor, or just listener, though musical skills and expertise are prerequisites in this early phase of the project.

What makes your idea stand apart?

Various organisations are utilizing the arts to nurture behavioural patterns required for effective collaboration. For instance, the Red Cross leverages the power of music for their value and skill-based education program.
However, our idea goes further: it exploits music’s media and mass appeal to convey messages to a wider audience. It is understood to be value-neutral and non-political. Thus, our orchestra can become an an anchor to increase social and human capital.

€ 49720,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 61720,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Managing director salary (10%, EUR6,400), operations Manager (9%, EUR5,440), musical Director (8%, EUR5,280), travel & subsistence (15%, EUR9,000), instruments (10%, EUR6,000, all in-kind), audio & video equipment (6%, EUR4,000, all in-kind), rehearsal & concert travel (10%, EUR6,000), rehearsal & concert venue (24%, EUR14,800, EUR2,000 in-kind), rehearsal & concert self-catering (8%, EUR4,800).

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

Linking up with refugee institutions and similar arts projects, musical talents, sponsorships of instruments or audio / video equipment



Idea created on March 5, 2016
Last edit on April 26, 2016

Write comment